26 May 2010

Plan of attack

It seems that Jacques and Elisabeth will be in Brittany for the rest of the week. Coco says he can't go get the cupboard doors and pay for them himself, so we have to wait. Next week...

I've known Jacques for at least five years, and Coco for about a year. He's done work here before. He does high-quality work. Everything will work out just fine. It just will take longer than we hoped — probably unrealistically — a few weeks ago. Who was it who said a couple of months ago: "It will take longer and cost more than you think it will."?

There's something nice about finally getting
these plants set outdoors again.

Anyway, our goal is to get the work done and get the new room upstairs all set up before winter. That's been the goal all along. Pas de panique !

The plum trees that blew down are producing fruit
now. In a few weeks, it will be ready to pick.

I don't know what to do about having company this summer. As things stand now, we have only one bedroom. But there are solutions, I'm sure. We'll just have to be creative. Finding a place for guests to sleep is one thing, but finding time to spend with them might be another, depending on how the sanding, varnishing, and painting jobs develop.

I'll continue the work of taking down this old wallpaper.

It's important to keep perspective. There is wallpaper to be taken down, and I'm going to start on that this morning. We'll be that far ahead of the game. We can also start cleaning and sanding the beams up in the attic, as well as doing some light sanding of the seams in the plasterboard. There's no shortage of stuff to do.

It's so nice to be able to take advantage
of the yard this time of year.

And then there's the garden, the cat, the dog, and the cooking. And the tennis tournament on TV. Whew! Who has time to spare?

And there's always a dog to go on long walks with...

It's been raining outside for the first time in a while. Walt has gotten a lot of the garden planted over the past few days. Tomato and eggplant seedlings, among others, are ready to set out now. Time to get going.

Yesterday, we roasted a chicken with carrots, onions,
Moroccan spices, and golden raisins.

And the cooking has to be done, now matter what. That's the entertainment part, and the reward. It's one of the things I love about living in France — the quality and variety of the food.


  1. You've got a good, patient attitude :)

    Hey, is that cat mint in the photos of the purplish plant?


  2. Wrapping up a remodeling project is the hard part- I recall having your same feelings when we added a sunporch to our house. It went very fast at first and then seemed to drag.

    You have the May holidays in there also. Hopefully, you'll get finished up in June! Meanwhile, keep working on the wallpaper and be happy that you have a nice set of stairs to climb.

    I'm enjoying seeing your outdoor shots. I'm going to try and catch some tennis today. I want to see Venus' outfit:-)

  3. I was thinking awhile ago that your renovation project was going at a speed that was too good to be true. So now it's down to normal speed and, as you say, you have so many things you can do to take your mind off the wait.

    Mmmmm..... that chicken looks good! Sounds like it's almost a non recipe meal but could you give this domestically challenged person a few hints on how to make it? Thanks!!


  4. Judy, you mean all those bluish-purplish flowers? They are sage.

    Evelyn, Venus is on the TV right now.

    BettyAnn, there isn't too much of a recipe. Brown the chicken in a pot on the stove or in a hot oven. Cook some onion in oil, add the Moroccan spices (curry powder), salt and pepper. Put in the carrots. Cook for a few minutes and add a cup of water. Pour the water, vegetables and spices around the chicken in a baking pan and cook for an hour or more so that the chicken browns and gets thoroughly cooked.

  5. Ah, stripping wallpaper. That's always fun. I've heard the 1980s vintages are the most difficult to remove (like grasscloth, etc...) The back yard looks great.

  6. Oh, I love Moroccan spices.

  7. That was my comment. I feel your pain. Our new deck, which should be nearing completion right now, hasn't even been started. Between the rain and the local bureaucrats... Gosh, it's just like living in France except I can pretty much understand everyone, the wine is more expensive, and the food isn't as good.


  8. Thanks, Ken. I've never heard curry powder referred to as Moroccan spices ..... interesting.

    I think I could make that dinner!


  9. BettyAnn, the spice powder I used in the chicken dish contained these spices all ground into a powder:

    * dried chili peppers
    * coriander
    * cumin
    * fennel
    * black pepper
    * cinnamon stick
    * turmeric
    * cloves
    * cardamom
    * fenugreek seed
    * star anise
    * curry leaves
    * bay leaves

    Moroccan spices come in a blend called Ras-el-Hanout, but I don't know how easy that is to find in the U.S. For the chicken, you could use these or at least some of them. Make your own blend. The chicken and carrots are really good together. The raisins too.

    Susan, bon courage, as we say. I hope the deck construction work starts soon.


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